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Transactive memory system links work team characteristics and performance
Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Zhi Xue ZHANG, Peking University
  • Paul S. HEMPEL, City University of Hong Kong
  • Yu-Lan HAN, Peking University
  • Dean TJOSVOLD, Lingnan University, HK
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
American Psychological Association
  • work team,
  • transactive memory system,
  • team characteristics,
  • performance,
  • team process
Teamwork and coordination of expertise among team members with different backgrounds are increasingly recognized as important for team effectiveness. Recently, researchers have examined how team members rely on transactive memory system (TMS; D. M. Wegner, 1987) to share their distributed knowledge and expertise. To establish the ecological validity and generality of TMS research findings, this study sampled 104 work teams from a variety of organizational settings in China and examined the relationships between team characteristics, TMS, and team performance. The results suggest that task interdependence, cooperative goal interdependence, and support for innovation are positively related to work teams' TMS and that TMS is related to team performance; moreover, structural equation analysis indicates that TMS mediates the team characteristics-performance links. Findings have implications both for team leaders to manage their work teams effectively and for team members to improve their team performance.
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Copyright © 2007, American Psychological Association

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Citation Information
Zhang, Z. X., Hempel, P. S., Han, Y. L., & Tjosvold, D. (2007). Transactive memory system links work team characteristics and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(6), 1722-1730. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.6.1722